Dragging a very low popular support and in the midst of a deep economic and social crisis exacerbated by Covid-19, President Sebastián Piñera today rendered his penultimate public account to the country.
The ceremony, held in the Hall of Honor of the National Congress in Valparaíso, had as background music a resounding cacerolazo throughout the country called on social networks and by dozens of union and social organizations.
Likewise, in neighborhoods of this capital and other cities, hundreds of people took to the streets to protest, set up and set fire to barricades and even clashed with army and police forces.
This and other demonstrations were called in rejection of the government’s erratic policy in managing the pandemic, the lack of response to the demands of the population and the human rights violations during the protests that began in October 2019 and that still they have no answer from justice.
In a statement, this week the Unitary central of workers and related unions demanded that the president express in his speech to the nation “clear pronouncements regarding the crisis not being paid by the workers.”
For its part, in a statement, the opposition in the Senate asked the president to explain to the country why he was against the constitutional reform that allows citizens to dispose of ten percent of their pension savings and vetoed the law that prohibits the cut of basic services during the pandemic and other measures massively supported by the population.
However, more than making a self-criticism, in his speech Piñera insisted that what the country needs is “unity, collaboration, dialogue and agreements to regain trust.”
He made a long count of the measures to face the Covid-19 pandemic and after alleging that no country has been able to face the disease with total success, he pointed out that the best tribute to the victims of Covid-19 in Chile it is working to “correct mistakes and amend the course.”
Contrary to the criteria of broad political and social sectors, he pointed out that the government is one of the ones that has done the most in the world to meet the needs of millions of people affected by the crisis exacerbated by the pandemic.
At the same time, he praised the Step by Step plan, promoted amid objections from doctors and experts, to relax the confinement measures imposed to face the pandemic.
Piñera also insisted on the need to “look beyond the horizon” to advance recovery, a task that, he said, will take time and will require enormous resources.
In that sense, he referred to a step-by-step plan Chile recovers, based on five points: Creation and recovery of jobs, construction of infrastructure, support for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, incentives for foreign investment and simplification of procedures to speed up economic recovery, for which it jointly promised more of 40 billion dollars.
Santiago de Chile August 1, 2020
Digital Chronicle / PL